Standing up to child prostitution on Backpage

backpage

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is one of the few journalists who has taken a stance against Backpage. He has been penning columns about them for years. In his latest column about Backpage he talks about the lawsuit against Backpage filed by two Massachusetts women who were underage at the time they were trafficked for sex on Backpage. I can’t do his column justice so I’ll post some relevant selections.

About the so-called freedom of speech argument…

Some readers may scoff that this is about censorship of free speech. No, it’s about human rights — because one of the most searing rights abuses in America is the sexual exploitation of children.

On Backpage’s screening process…

Backpage also makes it hard to search for missing girls by allowing scrambled phone numbers in sex ads. If you sell a dog on Backpage in the pet section, you must post a numeric phone number; sell sex with a girl, and you can use a nonsearchable version — such as zero12-345-six78nine — that makes it more difficult for police or family members to locate a missing child with a simple Internet search.

Likewise, Backpage allows ads to be paid for with untraceable credit cards or even with Bitcoin. It doesn’t require any age verification or real names.

And Backpage’s obvious hypocrisy…

Liz McDougall, the lawyer for Backpage, declined to comment on the allegations in the lawsuits, but she told me: “We remain committed to effective measures of prevention and successful prosecution of this heinous crime.”

That’s absurd. Backpage claims to report possible sex-trafficking cases, but Yiota Souras, the general counsel of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says that “Backpage’s reporting is not conducted in good faith.”

Yet even people who work to get trafficking victims off the street continue to believe that Backpage actually wants to solve a problem that they themselves are not only perpetuating but making millions of dollars from. Without the ads that traffic women in children in sexual slavery Backpage would wither and die, they know that and any thing they say or do is only done with the objective of continuing to make money at the cost of their victims.

Alleged serial killer met victim through Backpage

Afrikka Hardy

Afrikka Hardy

19-year-old Afrikka Hardy is believed to have been the victim of alleged serial killer Darren Vann of Gary, Indiana. She was working as a prostitute out of nearby Chicago and was advertised on Backpage. However just because she was a prostitute doesn’t mean she deserved to be strangled to death by a serial sex offender who has allegedly confessed to killing at least 7 victims. She had family and loved ones who cared about her.

This is more blood splashed on the pages of Backpage since they facilitated the murder in my opinion but they’re not going to stop unless they’re forced to stop. Congress needs to get off its ass and update the archaic Communications Decency Act before there are more Afrikka Hardy’s. Backpage isn’t going to stop on its own while there is blood money to be made.

UPDATE 10/31/2014: Vann has pleaded not guilty.

Mass. lawsuit against Backpage (From the mouth of Liz McDougall IX)

Backpage attorney Liz McDougall

Backpage attorney Liz McDougall

For those of you outraged by the picture and are ready to accuse me of misogyny please read the entire post before jerking your knee.

A number of lawsuits have been filed against Backpage this year for their prostitution ads by trafficking victims. I haven’t really been posting about them because they’re always dismissed under the guise of Backpage’s free speech. Another one has been recently filed in Massachusetts by two women who were turned out by pimps on Backpage when they were 15 and 17 respectively. Unfortunately I’m sure this one will be eventually dismissed as well since the law is actually on Backpage’s side due to the antiquated Communications Decency Act of 1996.

However, this particular lawsuit caught my eye because Backpage’s head legal weasel and corporate whore (we’re not there yet) Liz McDougall has commented on this particular lawsuit.

“We do more than any other online service provider to try to prevent the use of our service for any kind of human sex trafficking,” McDougall said.

No, no you don’t. That has to be a bold-faced lie if I ever heard one. As I’ve posted before Backpage represents 82 percent of all online prostitution and 80 percent of all their ads are for prostitution. So statistically you’re doing a whole lot of nothing when it comes to preventing trafficking on your website.

Now as far as the picture goes I did not place the caption on it because Ms. McDougall is female. I placed it there because I think that there’s no way in hell she can possibly believe the bullcrap that she is spreading on Backpage’s behalf. Since she’s more than likely only doing it for the money that makes her a whore in my eyes. Go back and read some of the other things she has said and tell me that she isn’t. And if you still want to call me a misogynist then that is your right but just remember I actually care about the women and girls that are being trafficked against their will on Backpage while it’s obvious that Liz McDougall does not.

Creepy Backpage child sex traffickers are creepy

backpage

In Florida police recently arrested 25-year-old Jose Alcedes Ojeda and 18-year-old Kristi Lynn Haney for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old runaway girl on Backpage. This is said to have occurred in Daytona Beach and Orlando. The girl’s father is said to have notified police about his daughter being used in a Backpage ad which saw the girl explicitly posing while the ad claimed she was 19.

If that’s not enough the victim had to have sex with 10 men in a day (paid child rape) and had to give the money she made to Ojeda who made her say ‘Here you go Daddy’ when giving him the money. Ick. Ojeda reportedly used the money to ply the girl with cocaine. That’s one of the oldest tricks of pimps and traffickers. They get these girls hooked on drugs in order to keep them working for the traffickers.

I guess the victim’s ad, and she is a victim, wasn’t one of the millions of ads that Backpage claims to delete.

Criminal masterminds from AR able to circumvent Backpage’s screening process for minors

backpage2

Recently in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the married couple of Doncouri and Sherwanda Wells were arrested for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Backpage. To hear Backpage tell it you would think they have a foolproof screening system for these kind of ads since they claim to delete a million inappropriate ads a month. So how were the Wellses able to get past such a rigorous screening process?

The girl was found to have several ads for prostitution on the site, according to arrest reports.

Both Wellses had user names posting ads, police said. Both admitted using their credit card to post the ads.

Such a complex scheme rivaling of some of the greatest criminal capers in history. No wait, scratch that. That’s how every ad for an trafficked teen is placed on Backpage. So what exactly does your process entail Backpage because it’s obviously not working.

I don’t know if I’ve made this offer to you yet Backpage but I’m going to make you the same one I made to craigslist. I’ll give you the solution to all this then you can pay me a tidy consulting fee. Do you know what the best way is to prevent teens from being trafficked in sexual slavery on your website? Stop publishing ads for prostitution.

You’re welcome.

Can a website be blamed for prostitution? If it’s Backpage they can.

backpage

Last week the Allentown Morning Call posted a four page article about the issues local police have been having with prostitution and Backpage. I’ve seen the article ridiculed online with people saying “You can’t blame a website for prostitution.” They’re wrong, you sure as hell can.

Think about it. Do you think that the people, and I use that term loosely, that run Backpage think that all the ads on the adult section of the site are for legal services? Of course not. Any idiot cab see that the ads are for prostitution. Yet they still collect money from these ads while saying they’re doing all they can to stop sex trafficking. Obviously they’re not doing all they can or they’d stop taking the money.

Our favorite spokesweasel, Liz McDougall, was even quoted for the article…

Backpage.com removes or blocks about a million ads per month, notably those that appear to involve minors or sex for money, said Liz McDougall, the site’s general counsel. And it has cooperated with police.

I’d like to see the ads they block since the ones they allow are obviously for sex for money and minors are still being trafficked on their website. Yet they’re still collecting the money. How many of those ads are there for Backpage to collect the millions of dollars they make in profit every year?

So can a website be blamed for prostitution? As long as they’re collecting the money and turning an obviously blind eye to the women and children that are being trafficked on their site then they damn well can be blamed.

FBI shuts down major sex trafficking site. Is Backpage next?

myredbook

This time the answer could be maybe.

The San Francisco office of the FBI recently announced that they had shut down ‘escort’ site MyReddbook and arrested its proprietor Eric Omuro. He’s been charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. The FBI has also taken possession of the website and visitors to the site are greeted with an FBI takedown page.

Now of course this raises the question will the feds go after Backpage next? Well, that depends. I get the impression that they were able to close down MyRedbook more due to the money laundering than the facilitation of prostitution. While MyRedbbok was a major player in online sex trafficking it pales in comparison to the scope of Backpage. MyRedbook is a mom and pop store compared to Backpage’s corporate command of the internet. Backpage’s owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, maybe morally bankrupt as human beings but I doubt they’re stupid enough to get involved in something small time like money laundering. However I really hope this arrest makes them more than a little nervous.

UPDATE 7/5/2014: Omuro has pleaded not guilty to the prostitution and money laundering charges.

Philly area man charged with craigslist rape and human trafficking

Kevin Cornish

Kevin Cornish

If the alleged charged against Kevin Cornish are true the man is not only a dangerous predator but he’s a world-class scumbag too.

The 42-year-old man from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, has been not only charged in the alleged craigslist rape of an 18-year-old victim but he may be behind a massive human trafficking scheme as well.

Police say that Cornish posted an ad on craigslist advertising for a home health care aide job. Cornish is said to have rapes the victim at his home after a fake interview and telling her he had the job. He is also said to have made her fill out and sign an additional ‘application’ for her to work for him as a prostitute. In my opinion it sounds like he was trying to convince her that she was legally his property now. I have heard of this trick being used before by traffickers.

After the victim escaped and contacted police they found fifty more of these applications which means he could possibly have other rape victims as well.

When dealing with any ad on craigslist Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood said it best.

“There are a lot of sickos out there. You really have to be careful.”

My advice, don’t use craigslist at all for anything.

14-year-old Ga. girl prostituted and impregnated by Backpage pimp

Arthur Gerald Reid

Arthur Gerald Reid

Recently 27-year-old Arthur Gerald Reid of Macon, Georgia, tried to get out of his guilty plea during a sentencing hearing. Back in 2013 Reid pleaded guilty to prostituting a 14-year-old girl on Backpage. He also got the girl pregnant as well. As usual with these gutless cowards Reid used threats of intimidation and violence to get the girl to work for him.

Reid tried getting out of his plea by saying that he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to. Thankfully the judge didn’t buy it.

The really sad part is that some of the girl’s family don’t want her around because they fear they’re in danger while other members of her family call her a whore.

I’m sure if asked Backpage would just call this a byproduct of their freedom of speech while wrapping themselves in the flag.

Twin Cities Backpage child pimp busted

childprost

25-year-old Dontre D’Sean McHenry of St. Paul, Minnesota, was arrested in Minneapolis by Homeland Security for allegedly trafficking three minor girls ages 15-17 on Backpage and Facebook for the purposes of prostitution. The 15-year-old was a runaway while the 17-year-old was said to have recruited the 16-year-old.

McHenry is facing 10 to life but somehow I think it will be closer to the 10 then the life. While the government may talk a big game about human trafficking they rarely put the sentencing behind their words.

I’m sure Backpage kept the money that was used to advertise these girls.